shaunc wrote: I imagine the northern hemisphere members are starting to get busy at the moment.
Kim O'Hara wrote:Hi, Shaun,
Two of the reasons for growing heritage varieties have nothing to do with productivity as such.
(1) To maintain diversity within the gene pool in case the new varieties all fail for some reason - all susceptible to heat stress or a new fungal pest, for instance. It's a real worry with bananas, for instance, since 99% of all the commercial bananas in the world are not just the same variety but clones of the same original plant, i.e. genetically identical.
(2) To keep the plant-patenters at bay. We don't want to end up at the mercy of one or two monstrous agribusinesses just because all non-patented varieties have been allowed to die out.
I don't set out to grow heritage varieties myself but I do like to acquire new plants by swapping with friends and neighbours, so the result is actually much the same. It even becomes another reason to do it - that is, to build a sense of community and encourage others to grow more of their own food.
Jikan wrote:Here in Alexandria (Virginia, USA) the soil is different--mostly sand, some silt, endless flecks of plastic and styrofoam, and a few long-spent pistol cartridges (9mm usually). Once you get the junk out, some wood chips down, plenty of compost and organic matter &c, the fungi seem happy and maybe this year we'll fill everyone full of kale, tomatoes, beets, &c.
Ayu wrote:I think in Europe (EU) they just hinder the selling, but not the exchange on non-profit base. It is just a matter of moneymaking without any concern about the nature...
But this sounds worrisome for me:Jikan wrote:Here in Alexandria (Virginia, USA) the soil is different--mostly sand, some silt, endless flecks of plastic and styrofoam, and a few long-spent pistol cartridges (9mm usually). Once you get the junk out, some wood chips down, plenty of compost and organic matter &c, the fungi seem happy and maybe this year we'll fill everyone full of kale, tomatoes, beets, &c.
Have you checked the soil for poisons? Cartridges (printers ink) can contain heavy metals, which are poisonous for the liver in longterm...
I recommend the climbing plant Fallopia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallopia_baldschuanica ).
It is said that it collects the poisonous substances into it's leaves. After two years the soil is clean, but then the plant is concentrated toxic waste for the special dump.
Sorry for these bad news.
shaunc wrote:It's Mother's Day today so firstly happy Mother's Day to our members. It's quickly approaching winter. We've had our first couple of frosts, the hens are moulting & have finally started to go off the lay. The cabbages & Brussels sprouts are developing their hearts & the broccoli have just started to get a head (only about 4cm across) as yet the cauliflower haven't shown any development. I'd imagine that in the northern hemisphere it's action on all sides as you sow seed & transplant seedlings into your beds. Good luck with it all, I hope it works out for you.
reddust wrote:It's transplanting time! Squash, Pumpkins, and tomatoes are going in the garden this week. Potatoes are also going into the garden, fingerlings, yukon gold, red, and russets. My husband and I enlarged our potato bed and we should be getting around 300lbs this year. Enough to last us till planting time next year. Direct sewing, lettuce, spinach, radishes, carrots, and beets. My leeks, onions, and garlic from last year are blooming. I will cut the immature heads off my garlic and steam them...one of my favorite spring foods. Pictures are on my blog.
I'm off to organize my canning jars. We only had to go shopping twice a month last year and this year. I have over 300 jars I need to get ready for canning later this spring and through the summer.
Kim O'Hara wrote::
You're putting much more effort into your garden than I do into mine - and obviously getting a lot more food out.
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